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Chapter 5, section 1: Experimenting with Confederation

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 5, section 1: Experimenting with Confederation"— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 5, section 1: Experimenting with Confederation

2 OBJECTIVES: 1.Learners will be able to explain the differing ideas of Republicanism as evidenced by completion of study guide. ( A.2.d) 2 Learners will be able to identify three basic issues debated in drafting the Articles of Confederation as evidenced by completion of chart. ( B.2.b) 3.Learners will be able to describe the political and economic problems faced by the Confederation as evidenced by completion of study guide. ( C.2.b)

3 "We have it in our power to begin the world over again
"We have it in our power to begin the world over again. The birthday of a new world is at hand" -Thomas Paine

Relationship between states and national government very difficult to define. Individual colonies saw themselves as independent nation states (each colony had its own governor, council, and colonial assembly). People felt primary allegiance to their colony, not to the new and larger nation. Colonies had only been able to unite when forced, or for self protection (eg. Dominion of New England). Eighteenth-century thinking was that direct democracy would place too much power in the hands of the uneducated masses. They instead favored a REPUBLIC-a government in which citizens rule through their elected representatives. People had different ideas about what Republicanism meant! Like technology, -a brave new world. Many question marks.

5 Different Visions Adam Smith-Economists who influenced many Americans of the time. Believed the Republic would benefit from self-interest. Government should allow people to pursue their own economic and political interests. John Dickinson-Believed in a “virtuous nation,” where people put the greater good above their self-interests. The invisible hand of the market and laissez faire economics-the tide lifts all boats vs. self sacrifice for the greater good.

6 State Constitutions One shapes the other!
Continental Congress in 1776 recommended that states devise their own constitutions. There should be an intimate connection between the values and habits of a people on the one hand and between their instruments of government and systems of law on the other. One shapes the other! State constitutions go beyond statutes and enshrine certain principles in writing. 3 main ideas at core: 1. Premised on the idea that they had to be grounded in natural rights. 2. Representation is based on consent. 3. Sovereignty rests with the people. (power with the people) All states had bicameral legislatures, weak executives, strong lower houses.

7 Political Precedents So we won the Revolutionary war-now what? Americans knew that if they wanted to win the war in a broader sense, they had to have effective governments. Many saw this as an experiment that would not work. looked to Ancient Greeks, Romans, and English Commonwealth. Was the American Revolution more than a military conflict? What else was it? Who were some of the first examples of democracy?

8 Continental Congress Debates
Articles of Confederation- The document that literally created the United States of America. Meant literally that different states were united together. Not a consolidation of the continent under one central authority. Meant to be a confederacy of states each of which had a separate government. Articles created a loose league of individual republican governments. Basically a pact between thirteen sovereign states which agreed that certain powers would be delegated to this new central government for very specific purposes, but these thirteen sovereign states retained all powers not expressly delegated by them in the Articles. Included a one chamber national congress elected by state legislators. Each state had one vote. Congress could not tax without all consenting. No executive branch. No judicial branch. Made sense for the time because it denied the powers to the national government that had started the Revolution.. Like the UN. No central authority. Why did this make sense for the time? No taxation, cannot overrule local laws, can’t interfere with state judicial proceedings. All things the British had done. They learned a lesson and acted based on that lesson. Long view of history sees Articles as a failure. Wanted to avoid an entrenched elite. States prohibited from making alliances with foreign countries. States could not enter into their own confederations

9 Articles of Confederation
3 problems with Articles of Confederation 1. Representation 2. Taxation 3. Western Lands

10 3 Key Questions: 1. Representation by population or state?
States have differ in terms of wealth, size, and population. Should each state have the same representation? Massachusetts population of 235,308, Georgia population of 23,375 2. Supreme Power: Can it be divided? States vs. National Government Articles of Confederation-2 levels of government share fundamental powers; A. States supreme in some matters, B. National government in others. Articles gave the national government power to declare war, borrow money, establish a postal service, make treaties. It did not create an executive department or national court. Could not impose taxes. 3. Western Lands: Who gets them? States were claiming lands west of the Appalachians. Smaller states felt they were being overpowered. Would not accept new government. States give up claims and the smaller states signed on in 1781. Largest states?

11 Map of the United States

12 U.S. Map in Terms of Population

13 World map based on population

14 Articles of Confederation
Articles of Confederation = Fail Debated from 1776 to 1777 when they were approved all of a sudden- why? Formally put into effect in 1781. Presentism -judging the past by what we know now. Do not judge The Articles this way! People of the time had their reasons. Articles were a logical first step that represented an initial attempt at a national government based on the fears and assumptions which prevailed in the late 18th century. Why were the articles suddenly approved in 1777? -Battle of Saratoga victory

15 Western Lands: Who gets them?
States were claiming lands west of the Appalachians. Smaller states felt they were being overpowered. Would not accept new government. States give up claims and the smaller states signed on in 1781. Governing the Western Lands. Land Ordinance of 1785-Greatest achievement of the Confederation. Establish blueprint for future growth of nation. Established plan for surveying land west of the Appalachians. Northwest Ordinance of 1787-Congress provided a procedure for dividing the land into territories. 3 stages to become a state: 1. Congress would appoint a governor. 2. When a territory had 5,000 voting residents the settlers could write a temporary constitution and elect their own leaders. 3. When total population reached 60,000 settlers could write a permanent constitution and be granted statehood.

Political and Economic Problems: Lack of national unity. States all had 1 vote regardless of population. Articles could not be amended without consent of every state therefore changes were almost impossible to make. Debt =190 million from the war. Continental currency had become worthless. Rhode Island would not allow national government to impose taxes. Had no control over interstate or foreign trade. Borrowers versus. Lenders- Creditors wanted to get paid back, favored high taxes which hurt farmers and poor people. Foreign-Relations Problems Britain would not evacuate its military forts on the Great Lakes. Wanted to get repaid. Spain still present on the western border. Access to the Mississippi was issue. Americans would not give the national government the power it needed to govern! This arrangement would not work! Now what?

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